by Lisa Davidson, Senate Minority Blog, February 19, 2014
You are not quite certain what street you are on. Maybe that bus pulling away from the corner dropped you here? There was something very important—very very important—that you needed to do. The reason you needed to … it’s all pau.
The young men at the bus stop are staring at you. Your hands are shaking and your heart is beating a little too fast. Need a Nitro-Bid. You sit on the bench beside those young men, who are definitely not behaving as politely as … Wait, where is your purse? OK, here’s the purse, where are your pills? What’s this in your purse? Some Kleenex, a lipstick, a tin of Altoids…
Wallet. Where’s your wallet? Wait, weren’t you supposed to have an appointment somewhere this morning? Where is your daughter, anyways? Definitely angina pains. Need that Nitro-Bid. Why are you here?
As we enjoy longer lifespans and our aging population grows, we are discovering more chronic and disabling conditions that affect the elderly. In addition to Alzheimer’s Disease and the many other forms of dementia, numerous chronic health conditions—and medication side effects–can create conditions of confusion, forgetfulness, anxiety, and even rage due to panic.
When an elderly person with cognitive impairments accidentally wanders away from home, a true life-threatening emergency may ensue. This is why Senator Sam Slom has introduced SB 2147, the “Silver Alert,” which helps find missing elderly persons quickly and efficiently. Modeled after the Maile Amber Alert, the Silver Alert uses the same voluntary partnership between local broadcasters, civil defense, police departments, and other state agencies.
As Senator Slom comments, “This practical bill provides safety for our kupuna and costs the State of Hawaii very little money to implement. It is an alert put out by police on the Maile Amber Alert system when elderly people go missing from their home.”